September 12th, 2006

Islam Denounces Terrorism

"Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged -truly Allah has the power to come to their support- those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, 'Our Lord is Allah'..." (Qur'an, 22:39-40)

"Fight in the Way of Allah against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. Allah does not love those who go beyond the limits." (Qur'an, 2:190)

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The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) reminded believers numerous times about this subject and by his own practice became a role model for others to follow. Indeed, he addressed believers who were about to go to war in the following terms: "Go to war in adherence to the religion of Allah. Never touch the elderly, women or children. Always improve their situation and be kind to them. Allah loves those who are sincere." [Ahmad Diya'al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, Vol 1, 84/8)

The Messenger of Allah also clarified the attitude Muslims must adopt even when they are in the middle of a raging battle:
Do not kill children. Avoid touching people who devote themselves to worship in churches! Never murder women and the elderly. Do not set trees on fire or cut them down. Never destroy houses! [Ahmad Diya'al-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, Vol 1, 76/12]

The Islamic principles Allah proclaims in the Qur'an account for this peaceful and temperate policy of the Prophet Muhammad. In the Qur'an, Allah commands believers to treat the non-Muslims kindly and justly:
"Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you over religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just towards them. Allah loves those who are just. Allah merely forbids you from taking friends those who have fought you over religion and driven you from your homes and who supported your expulsion..." (Qur'an, 60:8-9)

The verses above clarify how Muslims should behave towards non-Muslims: A Muslim should treat all non-Muslims kindly and only avoid making friends with those who show enmity towards Islam. In a case where this enmity causes violent attacks against Muslims, that is, where they wage a war against them, then Muslims should respond to them justly by considering the humane dimensions of the situation. All forms of barbarism, unnecessary acts of violence and unjust aggression are forbidden by Islam. In another verse, Allah warns Muslims against this and explains that rage felt towards enemies should not cause them to fall into injustice:
"You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to heedfulness. Heed Allah (alone). Allah is aware of what you do." (Qur'an, 5:8)
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